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best converter / playback for CD and vinyl

Discussion in 'Audio' started by tiggerly, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. tiggerly

    tiggerly Guest

    I want to put all my CDs and vinyl LPs onto a PC that'll be used solely to playback music thus replace my hi-fi. Any views on the best software to convert vinyl / CD to PC, formats to convert to and software to play it all back? I obviously want to keep the converted material as close to original quality as possible, or in the case of vinyl recordings try to improve them.
  2. tigre

    tigre Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 18, 2003
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    Once the signal is converted to digital there shouldn't be quality differences. Any audio editor like Audacity (free) or Cool Edit Pro (now Adobe Audition) should do. Most important here is good hardware.

    Exact Audio Copy (EAC). Best error detection/correction (-> scratched CDs ...). You'll find a good guide using the forum search or another one here: http://www.angelfire.com/magic/rex/tutorial.htm

    Lossless compression (bit identical to original) with ~ 40% size reduction: FLAC or Monkey's Audio.
    Best lossy format (quality-wise): Musepack (MPC). Indistinguishable from CD with good equipment & trained hearing at -standard setting (~160kbps) - for later transcoding e.g. to mp3 or Minidisc using -extreme or -insane setting could make sense (~190 / 220 kbps).

    There's specialized software for this task but many alround audio editors like Cool Edit / Audition have similar features (noise reduction, Click/Pop removal, equalizer ...). If you have high quality hardware (soundcard or external d/a convertor) you probably want to record your vinyl at higher resolution (sampling rate/bit depth) than CD audio (44KHz/16bit), e.g. at 96/24. As this needs lots of space you might want to reduce resolution after "improving" them. If done properly, 48/16 should be good enough for your final files IMO - and is compressible as described above.

    Foobar2000 (http://foobar2000.hydrogenaudio.org) is the best (Windows) audio player quality wise (theoretically - probably you won't be able to hear a difference to other players like Winamp).
    What player to choose probably depends on the features you want.

    Lots of valuable information related to this you'll find here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org
  3. tiggerly

    tiggerly Guest

    wow- thanks for that! Plenty for me to work with.

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